This incredible track was recorded April 19, 1983, by Nancy Nusz as part of the documentation for the Florida Folklife Program. The chorus is composed of residents of the Madison County Senior Citizen Center, in Madison, Florida.
It is important that it was produced in the reign of President Bedtime for Bonzo. And it is a great relief presently to revisit it as something richer, collaborative and kind, and altogether more glorious, to contrast it to that morally delipidated, regressive political period that hangs heavily over us still. And still some more than others.
The choral progression builds, refined through collaboration and the variations of repetition. The choir behind the lead singer phases in and out, supporting and expanding the melody. One percussive clap accompanies the movement, through the emotional peak at the line “I never have seen my mother’s face,” and finally into the lovely field recorded context of a bit of laughter and banter at the outro.